RANGERS will be welcome to another party. The remix that has become the theme of their Europa League campaign will get at least one more airing after Steven Gerrard’s side qualified for the last 16.

High up in the sky, the travelling support celebrated a result that was as headline-grabbing as it was deserved. This was the most significant night of Gerrard’s reign.

Ryan Kent got the goal that ultimately separated Rangers and Braga but that fact doesn’t tell the story of a mesmerising tie. From 2-0 down at Ibrox, Gerrard’s side progressed and the scenes on the park and in the stands said it all about just what this achievement meant.

Rangers travelled here ahead in the tie but still as underdogs to qualify. Few would have seen this result, and this performance, coming but Gerrard’s side again showed that they can rise to the occasion on the continent.

There was an air of belief, an assured confidence, about Gerrard at his pre-match media conference here on Tuesday evening. He understood and respected the difficulty of the challenge, but had no reason to fear it as he insisted Rangers won’t rest on their laurels, or their one-goal lead in the tie.

Given how that first leg unfolded at Ibrox, this was never going to be a dull affair. It was restless and nervy, with moments of quality and slackness in equal measure.

Rangers were prepared for a long night but the game should have been out of sight by the end of a remarkable first half as these two picked up where they left off. Somehow, it was goalless and still in the balance at the break.

The best chance came with the final kick before the whistle but Rangers conspired to blow it as Ianis Hagi saw his penalty brilliantly saved by Matheus.

The Romanian had waited a long time to take it after whistler Andreas Ekberg checked with VAR and then had a word with the Braga keeper after ruling the ball had struck the arm of Raul Silva. When Hagi stepped up, Matheus sprung to his right as Hagi became the fourth different taker to miss from the spot this term.

The 21-year-old had performed well up until that point, as had Rangers overall, as Braga again gave up chances and looked as if they could be exploited defensively.

Rangers should have been ahead after just nine minutes as Kent slipped the ball through to Scott Arfield and he burst clear. Rather than shoot, he squared to Florian Kamberi and the striker was denied a goal on his first Europa League start for Rangers.

The Swiss would frustrate as he was repeatedly caught offside and Rangers needed to be more composed with the ball in the final third as they looked to extend their lead in the tie.

Hagi showed lovely skill to evade Silva down the right and Kent had time and space inside the area. He pulled a tame effort low and wide of target, though, and he and his forward partners would surely have reflected on those misses at half-time.

The midfield three of Ryan Jack, Steven Davis and Arfield had put in terrific shifts, while George Edmundson recovered from a nervous start to produce a solid showing.

The Englishman was a surprise inclusion from Gerrard as he replaced Niko Katic in the starting line-up. With only two European outings – against St Joseph’s and Progres – to his credit, this was a huge night for Edmundson.

He would repay Gerrard’s faith in fine fashion, though, as Rangers kept Braga at distance for long spells. When they got too close for comfort, the Primeira Liga side couldn’t capitalise.

Keeper Allan McGregor made a brilliant stop to tip a Paulinho header over the bar and Fransergio would head wide as Braga looked threatening up to a point, but no more than that.

The hosts knew that one goal would take them through but it was Rangers that were more likely to get it. Just after the hour, it arrived for Gerrard’s side.

Kent should probably have done better with another chance as he failed to test Matheus after a cross from Kamberi but he made no mistake when he got his next sight of target.

A dinked ball from Hagi sent Kent clear. The angle was tight but the finish was clinical this time as he found the far corner and sparked wild scenes amongst the Gers fans in the Estadio Municipal.

The lead was no more than Gerrard’s side deserved at this stage. It had been a thoroughly impressive showing and they were now just half an hour away from a place in the last 16.

Braga continued to press and probe and another opportunity was spurned as Ricardo Horta headed just wide of target. The clock was ticking.

Arfield thought he had won it as he converted after Connor Goldson’s header hit the post but the offside flag cut short Rangers’ celebrations.

They didn’t have to wait long to really kick-start them and attentions now shift to the draw for the last 16 on Friday. Another party can be planned.